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North Korea Crisis

Top Japan diplomat sets 2020 goal for North Korea denuclearization

Foreign Minister Kono says Kim must not be allowed to run out the clock

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono speaks to Nikkei in Tokyo on April 20. Kono warned against letting North Korea buy time to continue its nuclear program. (Photo by Rie Ishii)

TOKYO -- North Korea should complete its denuclearization by 2020, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told Nikkei on Friday -- the first time a representative from Japan, the U.S. or South Korea has cited a specific deadline.

The aim is to prevent Pyongyang from using upcoming talks to buy time to continue developing nuclear weapons. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in next Friday, and is expected to hold talks with U.S. President Donald Trump by early June.

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